Giving Compass’ Take:
· After addressing the importance of high-quality early childhood programs, Eric Westervelt explains how investing in preschools provides a better overall return than investing in the U.S. stock market.
· High-quality early childhood programs are costly, but the results are positive. Research shows that both children and their mothers reap the benefits.
If you got 13 percent back on your investments every year, you’d be pretty happy, right? Remember, the S&P 500, historically, has averaged about 7 percent when adjusted for inflation.
What if the investment is in children, and the return on investment not only makes economic sense but results in richer, fuller, healthier lives for the entire family?
There’s a growing body of research on the value and importance of high-quality early education programs — especially for disadvantaged kids.
Two North Carolina programs founded in the 1970s that worked with infants from 8 weeks old through age 5 nine hours a day. They provided these disadvantaged children with enriched family environments: more verbal attention, more enrichment and parenting resources available to disadvantaged, predominantly African-American women, and single-parent women, supplementing early lives.
In addition, it gives health care screenings for children 0 to 5. The pediatrician has access to the treatment group. The pediatrician then would suggest what health indications should be taken. What kind of steps, what kind of treatment might be taken. Doesn’t pay for the treatment but it does essentially screen the children and alert parents to the need for treatment.
The programs included data collection from birth through age 8 on a wide range of school and home life factors as well as long-term follow-ups through age 35.
What is turning out from this body of research is that promoting engagement of children, their cognitive and noncognitive skills, boosting their IQs, at the same time boosting their social engagement, their willingness to participate in society, monitoring their health from an early age, is having huge benefits downstream for the rest of their lives.
Read the full article about investing in preschool by Eric Westervelt at NPR.
Interested in learning more about Impact Investing? Other readers at Giving Compass found the following articles helpful for impact giving related to Impact Investing.
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If you are interested in Early Childhood Education, please see these relevant Issue Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects where you can get involved.